New Pastor Hop On The Train

Posted: November 17, 2008 in Christianity
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Our church has a new pastor beginning next Sunday. I have been studying on what is the proper way to welcome him and his family. I think first of all we need to welcome him and his family with open arms. They need to be made to feel a part of the church family. Too many times pastors are made to feel like nothing more than laborers hired to do what we tell them to do. When you hire someone by congregational vote, there are those who vote no for whatever reason. There obligation is to still show honor and respect, and to welcome him to the church.

We need to recognize that he is now in a position of authority. Hebrews 13:17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Here is where we need to be very careful. This verse is where we fail to be biblical. The pastor as leader is placed in charge of the congregation to shepherd the flock. As long as he is being biblical, we need to watch our tongues and our deeds. We need to not be so set in our ways that we fail to follow his leadership. Don’t fight change just because it means you don’t get you way. I have actually heard people say that it is a good thing when you have people vote no for the pastor. The thought being that he has to work to win those people over and not get a big head. I totally disagree with that assessment. The goal of the church is unity. The ideal situation would be total unity, so he can focus on preaching and teaching. He is called to preach and teach, not to make everyone happy.

After some time, he will have a vision for where he feels the church should go. Embrace that vision and adjust your area of ministry to that vision. We need to be all moving towards a common goal. We need to kill pride and ego within ourselves. It is not a power issue, it is a unity issue. We have an opportunity with a new pastor for a fresh start. We have an opportunity to put all the old junk behind. Are we willing to let it go?

Is the lay leadership totally committed to the church? I have seen lay leaders who have routinely skipped church events. I have seen lay leaders who directly and indirectly have promoted churches other than their own. I have seen lay leaders unwilling to be servants. All of these undercut the church. It also kills the morale of those working hard to serve the church. It also hurts the churches witness to the community. If the lay leadership of the church views the church in those ways, why would someone on the outside ever want to join?

The slate is clean. What will you do? How important is the church to you?

I would like to say welcome aboard to our pastor, Jason “Train” Harris. I am praying for your transition. May we all be united and meet God where he is working.

  1. TOM SPANGLER says:

    My own persoanl feelings is that Pastor’s are either “called” or “hired” to or by the church. In other words if both the Pastor and the congreation is in one accord (which should not be interpeted as 100% yes vote) but are willing to repent for past sins against former staff / Pastor’s and members, while at the same time show a renewed love and aceptance for hurting members of the flock, then the church will grow once again spiritually and in numbers. However, if the new Pastor is hired, meaning that he needs or wants a different place for his ministry, and or the church body feels that this is all we can afford or its been too long without a Pastor, then the journey in the valley will continue.

    I heard Pastor Harris wonderful message on Galatians 6. God certainly spoke, but did the people listen?

    I am praying for you and your family Pastor Harris.

    Welcome to Jasper!

    God Bless
    Tom Spangler

  2. Jason Taber says:

    I agree with most of what you say Tom, but I would say to be careful on limiting God. God can and will use a person no matter what the motivations where behind his hiring (calling). No pastor or political leader is put into place against the will of God. He uses the feelings and personalities of people to accomplish His will.

    My feelings are the journey in the valley had little to do with the pastor and more to do with the hearts of the people. No matter who is brought in as pastor, he will have little success if the hearts of the flock are not correct. But a man preaching the Word of God can change hearts, because there is power in the Word.

    We are called to be submissive to leaders, whether spiritual or secular, as long as it doesn’t violate the Bible. That is where the rub is. Many people are unwilling to be submissive to anyone. My hope is that people will get their hearts in the right place prior to Pastor Harris starting.

  3. TOM SPANGLER says:

    Amen brother!

    Tom Spangler

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